If any pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies‘ rotation has had a tougher year than Cole Hamels, I don’t have a clue who it would be. Unlike Kyle Kendrick, who has just been awful for most of the season, or Cliff Lee, who has been dealing with an injury, Hamels has been throwing the ball incredibly well. Other than a handful of rough outings, his control has been good and he has been placing his pitches right where he wants them. Hamels’ ERA is down to 2.83 and he has a 3-2 record on the season that speaks volumes about what he has been dealing with.
As every Phillies fan knows by now, when Hamels is on the mound the offense just doesn’t show up. He almost always pitches down a run or with no score into the late innings of a game and then gets pulled and watches all his hard work end up being for nothing. Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves is a perfect example as the Phillies didn’t score until a Jimmy Rollins home run in the seventh gave Hamels a 2-0 lead to work with. On that night it was enough for the Phillies to get the win, but on most evenings the result is a no-decision or loss for Hamels.
It is a problem that began long before this season, with the team having trouble offensively when Hamels is pitching going as far back as 2012. It has become something of a running joke, with manager Ryne Sandberg getting into the act when he said after the Phillies’ win on Saturday, “He wanted run support, we’ll give him run support.”
Regardless, I would imagine Hamels has had enough by now.
The situation has gotten bad enough that he has refused to talk to reporters after games, the last time happening on June 22. Who can really blame him? The Phillies just don’t score when Hamels is pitching and it invariably means he has to try and win the game with his arm and go deeper in games than he is comfortable.
Hence why Hamels should ask the Phillies to trade him.
Hamels is 30 years old and is easily in the prime of his career. The lack of scoring is not going to go away and is likely only to get worse as the team enters a “retooling” stage. Why would he want to waste his best years with this club when he can pretty much pitch for any team in MLB? The New York Yankees would welcome him with open arms and probably throw him a parade just for putting on the uniform.
If Hamels has ever wanted to get out of Philadelphia, now is the time to do it. The trade deadline is approaching and he can control his own destiny if he chooses. All he has to do is tell Ruben Amaro Jr. he wants out and odds are, he will probably be pitching in another World Series before the Phillies make the playoffs again.